Gloucestershire vs Derbyshire
Specsavers County Championship - Division Two
Thu 11 - Sun 14 Apr The Brightside Ground, Bristol
Derbyshire battle back to maintain lead
Wickets were shared among four bowlers as Derbyshire pegged Gloucestershire back to preserve the visitors’ first innings lead on Day Two at The Bristol County Ground.
Luis Reece took 2-33 from 16 overs, while there were wickets for Alex Hughes (1-28), Tony Palladino (1-20) and Logan van Beek (1-58) as Gloucestershire closed on 202-5, trailing by 89 runs.
Earlier Derbyshire were all out for 291 in the morning session as Tom Lace top-scored with a career-best 83.
Resuming on 256-7, Derbyshire lost Anuj Dal for three and van Beek was bowled for seven after shouldering arms.
Ravi Rampaul (9) and Palladino (9 not out) added 25 for the last wicket, frustrating the hosts and taking Derbyshire towards the 300 they hoped for and to 291 all out.
Reece took the only Gloucestershire wicket to fall before lunch, Miles Hammond caught at first slip by Wayne Madsen for six.
The experienced Dent and the youthful James Bracey looked comfortable and built well after the interval as Billy Godleman threw the ball to Madsen and Hughes in search of a second wicket.
It was the latter who ended the 84-run stand in the 38th over, Dent chopping onto his stumps for 33 and balance in the game was restored as Reece had George Hankins (0) caught at mid-wicket in the following over.
At 97-3, Derbyshire had the chance to seize control of the match, but Bracey continued to bat fluently and the hosts went to tea on 110-3, the 21-year-old supported by the watchful Gareth Roderick (33 not out).
It took an athletic piece of fielding from Dal to remove the set Bracey, the all-rounder diving at point to cling onto a well-timed cut, the batsman gone for 65.
From then on the runs dried up for the hosts as Palladino and Hughes bowled tightly, but without any further breakthroughs.
With a strike rate below 30, but rarely troubled, Roderick put on 46 with Benny Howell (25), before he fell to van Beek and an unbeaten sixth-wicket stand with Ryan Higgins (33 not out) to steer his side to 202-5 at the close.
Gloucestershire still trail Derbyshire by 89 runs and with five second innings wickets in hand, the game is well poised heading into the third day.
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